Slash brings us his third ‘solo’ album in World On Fire. I say solo lightly as it’s the second album released with support from Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators who’ve been around for a few years helping Slash on his way to a certain degree of success since 2012’s Apocalyptic Love as well as backing him up on his touring duties with Todd Kerns returning on bass and Brent Fitz banging the skins. In case you were wondering – yeah, I did ignore the Slash’s Snakepit albums on purpose.
Having bought tickets to see Slash and Co. in December at Glasgow’s hub of international stars – The SSE Hydro, I was wondering just what I was signing up to. I reckon there’s a couple of certainties we can count on – Hits from the first two recent Slash efforts as well as the almost guaranteed Guns n’ Roses hits – of which, the latter has me absolutely buzzing. Then there’s the new material. Am I looking forward to that? Let’s find out.
‘World on Fire’ bursts out the traps at a frantic pace with a riff and cowbell intro that has you thinking back to an album released in 1987. The chorus ringing true with Kennedy belting out lyrics about setting the world on fire and pushing it to the edge, almost as if he’s warning us that the next 78 mins are going to leave us breathless and thrilled. He’s not wrong.
The album is full of chunky riffs that we come to expect from the master of dirty blues rock’n’roll. There are also the slightly darker efforts in the likes of ‘Shadow Life’, ‘Beneath the Savage Sun’ and ‘The Unholy’ that really do get down and dirty in a fashion we’ve become accustomed to with this collective. As for each influence, comparisons will more than likely be made with Alter Bridge and Gn’R, especially with songs like ‘Stone Blind’ that plucks a riff straight out of the Gn’R handbook yet still manages to sound like a Slash track in its own right.
The guys know how to bring it down a notch and put together a ballad too. ‘Battleground’ and ‘Bent To Fly’ will hold more with those who are fans of Kennedy and his work with Alter Bridge. The former also has a pretty killer solo midway through. There’s just something so beautiful about the tone Slash gets from his Les Paul. It will have you dusting down that fancy dress top hat and grabbing the nearest air guitar in no time.
The track ’30 Years To Life’ is a very strange and funny one for me. Not because it’s strange or funny, it’s just that I can’t listen to without thinking it’s about a frantic, middle-aged pizza delivery driver who’s made poor educational and career choices and his race against the clock to make his latest delivery. Listen to the lyrics, tell me you don’t see it. No? Just me? Ok then…
The stand out tracks on the album for me are ‘Stone Blind’ with its frightening opening riff and chorus. ‘Withered Delilah’ – a short, sharp bass-heavy funkbomb and the title track ‘World on Fire’. So, to round things off I think it’s safe to say I’m loving this album from cover to cover. Being a fan of Gn’R and Alter Bridge it was maybe safe to assume that would be the case but I think the work on show here from the bluesy guitar riffs and stunning solos to the formidable vocal range of the magnificent Myles Kennedy.
Everything just fits so well. It’s one of those rare albums where there are no weak tracks. Even on the 17-song behemoth there’s absolutely no filler in sight.
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